Just checking to see if anyone has used towercoverage.com program. If so good or bad experiences. Looking for something that can be put on web site so customers have a general idea if they are in our service area.
We use it and it is ok. I don't think we have it tweaked perfectly though as some of the links show good, but the signal doesn't come out to the same when our techs show up. It is nice for our website though, as the customers can type in their information, and drop the pin where their home is and it will give us a good idea if they are in our coverage area.
It's a useful tool and the service check form that you can integrate into your website is a great feature.
The coverage maps will always only be estimations of coverage, not taking true foliage or building obstruction into account.
My only real gripe with towercoverage is that they nickle and dime anything you want to export from the site. Want a google earth kmz file, that's $$$. Want a 477 report, that's $$$, etc. I wouldn't mind so much except we are already paying them $50/month to essentially host a form and coverage map.
We use a mapping solution that I've written, showing towers/aps/sms/backhauls and 'pie slices' for AP sectors. Gives us an idea but doesn't represent the reality on the ground some times.
We also have an account with towercoverage.com, because I had zero interest in writing the code to actually model the radio propogation for a sector, nevermind trying to take ground cover into account.
It may take many tweaks to get things 'right' but their service does deliver. I find several minor irrititants in their UI and behavior (you have to rebuild any 'multi-map' manually before you can remove an AP that's included in it, recalculates [1-5mins] radio propogation just to change AP name, others) but if you take the time to get everything set up well, and compare it to some known quantities (existing installs) to tweak then it works pretty well.
It's worth taking the time to drill down into the ground cover modelling before you set up all your radios in it - they use USGS (and/or other, not sure) data regarding ground cover at a given location, which is often pretty good. But that data just indicates ground cover type, like 'deciduous forest' vs 'evergreen forest' vs 'grassland' for example, you'll want to tweak the height and signal loss it uses for those ground cover types to more closely match the reality in your area.
And also take the time to create/tweak templates for the radios and antennas you use.
towercoverage.com is based off of radiomobile propigation software.
I played withit for a few minutes and can see how it would be useful, but we just use radio mobile directly. its never perfect, but with a little tweeking you can color code your coverage and come up with a pretty good estimation of success rate. it will never be perfect, diffrent types of trees resist the signal diffrent, houses are not taken into account etc. etc. but i've found radio mobile be able to give us maps 90% or so accurate and are a major help in the planning segment helping to decide were to put a tower and how high we need to go inorder to get customers attached. if you are building a new site, you can actually work backwards. input all of the points you want to connect. give it a max height and it will give you a backwards coverage map, put your power in that area, and you should be able to connect most if not all of the end points you've entered into the software.
cambiums link planner works well too for checking the expected link to a prospect once a site is built. you are limited to use only cambium gear in it, and it won't give you a blanket map to post. you can use the image overlay on google earth of you want to give customers just a rough guess.